South Whitehall commissioners have given unanimous approval to redistricting reform in Pennsylvania.
The board, during its Aug. 16 meeting, displayed a letter which will be sent to 18 public officials at the state, federal and county levels.
The action signifies support of legislation being enacted to reform the current process which results in gerrymandered districts.
At an earlier meeting, Dr. Fritz Walker, state coordinating team chair of Fair Districts PA, explained gerrymandering is drawing district boundaries to benefit one party.
South Whitehall commissioners have approved the purchase of new computerized equipment for the township water system at a cost of $273,156.
The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition technology will be purchased from Will Business Applications Inc.
At a recent meeting, Jerry Charvala, South Whitehall utilities group leader, explained the new technology will control the entire water system.
SCADA will monitor chlorine residuals, control pumps, check tank levels and provide pressure readings, Charvalla said.
The seventh annual Laurys Station Community Day begins 3 p.m. Sept. 16 and culminate with fireworks in the evening.
Festivities take place at the Laurys Station Fire Company and North Whitehall Township athletic fields, 5314 Egypt Road.
Features include a variety of food, vendors, games, car show, bake sale, historical displays, Boy Scout Troop and Cub Scout Pack 144 encampment, MS Walking Warriors team basket raffle, chili cook off, and photo contest.
Miller-Keystone Blood Center will accept blood donations 3-7 p.m.
Parkland’s school board has taken the first step toward conversion of Fogelsville Elementary School heating system from fuel oil to natural gas.
At a recent meeting, Director of School Services David Keppel reported the action will save the district $40,000 annually, after about 3-1/2 years to recoup the initial investment.
The board approved Snyder Hoffman Associates Inc. for professional mechanical and electrical engineering services at a cost of $5,380 leading toward the conversion.
Superintendent Richard Sniscak noted the amount is only for design work.
There is still another chance to enjoy two summer evenings of food, music and fellowship at Union United Church of Christ grove, Neffs.
Blues Nite Out begins Aug. 25 with the Bryant Brothers on stage at 7 p.m.
On Aug. 26, Bev Conklin and BC’s Combo Band begins entertaining at 4 p.m.
Headliner and local favorite The Sarah Ayers Band starts its program at 7 p.m.
James Supra, an award-winning blues harmonica player, will join the Sarah Ayers group.
Organizer Phil Wehr reports the talented musicians may also include some surprise guests.
An update to the Parkland school board on the proposed elementary school in Upper Macungie Township from design professional Jamie Bortz of the architectural firm KCBA, led to inquiries about the cost.
Although the Stantec consulting firm projected a cost of $31.7 million in a study conducted in 2015-16, no current figures have been given.
Superintendent Richard Sniscak explained analysts will be able to start providing estimates when design development is completed soon.
Board member Barry Long questioned Bortz.
Lenore Horos, former South Whitehall director of finance, has taken the helm at a newly created department, “Risk Management and Contract Administration.”
At a recent commissioners’ meeting, Horos stated she looks forward to creating the department from the ground up.
“I think it’s needed and I won’t let you down,” Horos said.
She plans to take a look at all insurance policies to make certain township buildings and their contents have proper coverage.
Volunteer fire company policies will also be evaluated.
Renee Bickel, who started working at South Whitehall as manager of human resources six years ago, has become the new township manager.
She replaces Howard Kutzler who resigned in February.
Bickel was named assistant township manager in October 2015 and has served as interim manager since Kutzler’s departure.
Bickel oversees all departments in the township, including 106 full-time staff and 25 seasonal employees.
Before her arrival at South Whitehall, Bickel held human resources administrative positions in manufacturing, long-term care and consulting.
Northern Valley EMS, NOVA, is seeking volunteers to apply for two openings on its board of directors.
Kristie Wilk, director of administration, said the board meets once a month. If an individual serves on a special committee, that group also meets once a month.
Wilk reported Don Steffy has retired as a NOVA board member after 20 years of service.
NOVA offers the opportunity for car safety seat checks. Call ahead to schedule an appointment. NOVA personnel will examine the car seat to make sure it is installed properly.
South Whitehall residents are concerned over a recent shooting at the nearby Econo Lodge motel, 1151 Bulldog Drive.
They filled the room at the Aug. 3 board meeting and asked commissioners and police to take action to safeguard the area.
Police Chief John Christman said about five shots were fired in the July incident which also involved a pistol whipping.
He added no one was hit by the shots.
One bullet, however, reached the Lehigh Valley Home and Garden Center, 4220 Crackersport Road.